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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

AU GHING    TORSO

Nice. This was very interesting to me, as, when I
had been in Russia I had read the life of Marie
Bashkirtseff and was very interested in her. A great
part of her life was spent in Nice. My Countess's
mother-in-law, who was staying at the villa, was a
Russian lady of nearly eighty and had known the
whole Bashkirtseff family and told me a great deal
about them. There is a fountain in Nice in memory
of Marie. I was taken to see this and to the Museum,
where there are some of her pictures and a large
marble figure of her in a smart dress with a bustle,
I am now severely reprimanded, if I ever mention
this lady's name, for being old-fashioned: but I
still have a great deal of admiration for her char-
acter. If she had only had the sense to realize that
during her life-time the great man was Edouard
Manet and not Bastion Lepage! She fell in love
with Lepage and was completely influenced by him.
In any case both their paintings seems to lack sensi-
bility so completely and to be so sec. Whatever
critics had to say about her, she did influence the
fashions of her time and attained the most amazing
amount of knowledge during her short life.
I was taken to Monte Carlo also, which I thought
was a charming place, and filled with comic police-
men and the strangest old Englishwomen who earn
their livings at the Casino. We saw them parading
about the town. I saw one with black stockings
and white shoes, a white coat and skirt, a large
hat with purple flowers in it, and a purple spotted
veil. The whole head-dress looked like a meat safe
covered in muslin. The Lower Corniche was the
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